One of the most demanded activities by our guests is to ride on the back of a camel to cross the desert dunes, watch the sunrise or sunset or go to the nearest village.
And the truth is that it is a success: absolutely everyone comes back fascinated.
Seeing yourself on top of a peaceful creature two meters tall and merging with a natural environment as special as the desert is an unforgettable experience.
Another of the comments we receive from those who try this camel riding adventure is that they were not aware of the extent to which they did not know the peculiarities of the animal, and this species that has been official transport since ancient times has its nuances.
That is why on this occasion we are going to tell you what Moroccan camels are like and what they are called, how to ride a camel without dying in the attempt, and where to ride a camel in Morocco.
Let’s get down to business.
The camels of Morocco
Hands up who hasn’t called a dromedary a camel at some time.
But don’t worry; if this is your case, you weren’t on the wrong track since both are camelus:
- The camelus dromedarius is the dromedary and has a single hump.
- The camelus bactrianus is the camel and has two humps.
Both are camels, but not dromedaries.
Having clarified the name, we will say that it is not the only difference, although it is the most visible one; these animals are also distinguished by the amount of hair they have: the camel has darker and longer hair than the dromedary to protect itself from the cold of the Asian plateau, which is its habitat.
And this brings us to the fact that… in Morocco there are only dromedaries, with lighter and shorter hair so as not to suffer so much from the ravages of the heat. Don’t be confused by the fact that we also call them camels.
So, if you have on your wish list a camel ride in the Moroccan desert, it will be on the back of a nice dromedary with a hump.
They do have in common that they have a docile temperament and need to eat and hydrate rarely: contrary to popular belief, they do not store water in their humps, but fats from food.
And where does this belief that they store it comes from? Well, they drink an enormous amount of water in a short time and do not need to do it again for hours.
This explains why they are able to live in extreme climates and carry people and goods, even if the desert wind blows.
Now that you know what you are going to find if you come to the Moroccan desert and take a camel ride; let’s see what it is like to get on the back of this emblem of the country.
How to ride a camel in Morocco
Taking a camel ride in the Moroccan desert is a unique and exotic experience like few others; the only thing you have to take into account are some indications and, following the instructions of the person who lends or rents it to you.
As with almost all animals, the dromedary needs to feel comfortable. That is why it is not a good idea to shout, jump on him, and much less to hit him. In order for you to climb up, the animal sits on all four legs, but it gets up nimbly when it senses that you are climbing up. So do it with a quick movement and straddle him as quickly as possible.
Usually, he will raise his hind end first and then stretch out his front legs. Just hold on and enjoy, it’s great fun and they are tame, so it’s very difficult to get pulled.
Once up, there’s no better advice than this: let yourself go with their movements. Let go, sway with their swaying and look at the horizon, the desert from that height is a joy.
Now we only need to know where you can ride on the back of a camel in Morocco.
Where to ride camels in Morocco
Riding a camel is something you will do for sure if you come to the Moroccan desert.
However, if for whatever reason you are not coming and you don’t want to give up the experience of a camel ride, don’t worry, you still have a solution.
Let’s take a closer look at the two options.
#1 Camel riding in Marrakech
The best place to ride a camel in Marrakech is El Palmeral, 10 kilometers from the city and you can get there by cab or rickshaw, a means that many choose because it is fun and different from what we are used to.
Imagine yourself making a tour of an extension that has more than 100,000 palm trees in an area of about 13,000 hectares. Well, that is what you will find in the Palmeral.
There you understand how important the palm tree is in the economy and customs of the country for its dates and the wood obtained from them.
While this way of fulfilling your desire to ride a camel is interesting, doing it in the desert is the best.
#2 Camel riding in the Moroccan desert
We arrived at the best place in the world for camel riding: the Moroccan desert and, in particular, Erg Chebbi.
And it’s not that we say so, which we do too.
It is because the desert is the natural habitat of the dromedary: its coat, its color, and the pads of its feet are made to live here and not to sink in the sand or suffocate.
And the same goes for their very long eyelashes, which protect their eyes, and their nostrils, which can be completely closed so that the sand does not enter them when the wind blows in blizzards.
We know from our own experience and that of our guests that watching the sunrise or sunset on a camel in Erg Chebbi is a gift for the senses: the views of the horizon from the top of the animal, the gradient of the sky and the silence of the desert will penetrate you to the core.
In Kam Kam Dunes we organize camel rides for all tastes with well-cared animals that are used to be the transport of people.
For us camels are like family, we even call them by name, and they are very good company.
From the moment the camel kneels in front of you and lifts you two meters off the ground, you get into adventure mode and what comes next is one of those things that stays with you.
Letting yourself be carried towards the huge dunes, climbing them at a safe pace and discovering the vast dimensions of the expanse of sand before your eyes is something worth experiencing.
If you feel like trying it, come to Kam Kam Dunes, we will organize everything to make it a memorable experience.
Are there any other places in Morocco where you can ride a camel?
Not really: if you want to ride a camel for a genuine and traditional ride, you can only do it in the palm grove of Marrakech and, above all, in the desert.
You will see them in other places as a tourist attraction to take a picture with, but it is something that for us does not fall into the classification of taking a ride on a Moroccan camel.